By Daniel Brunty
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Ella Staples celebrated 100 years of life this past Thursday with a party with family and friends at The Choctaw County Nursing Home.
Born on January 22, 1914, Staples is a native of Choctaw County, and has spent the majority of her life there. Staples grew up on a farm with 13 other siblings, where they grew cotton, corn, peas, and other crops. “My mother died when I was five years old,” Staples said. “My daddy married again, and she had children. When I think of it now, they just put us all in together, and we never thought about it, that we weren’t blood brothers and sisters. I don’t know how that would work now.”
Staples explained how life was on the farm back then. “I never even went to town until I was 13, 14 years old,” Staples said. “We lived in the country, and our mail carrier brought our groceries. We gave him the money to take to town, and he would bring back groceries when he brought the mail.” The children on the farm did most of the work, as did most children on farms back then. “I had a wonderful life growing up,” Staples said.
Staples attended and graduated high school in Choctaw County. She would go on to teach school in Choctaw County. After teaching school, Staples met her husband, and they moved to Memphis. For 10 years, they lived in Memphis until the start of World War II. Staples’ husband was called to help create bombs for the war, and they would relocate to the East for his occupation. After four years, the couple moved back to Memphis, but did not stay long. After her husband said he did not like staying in Memphis, the couple sold their home and moved back to Choctaw County.
The couple had two children, a boy and a girl. Staples has two grandchildren and three great grandchildren. With Staples achieving such a rare milestone in life, she is even amazed that this day has come. “I never dreamed I would live this long,” Staples said. “No one in my family has ever lived this long. My twin sister died when she was 91. My oldest brother lived until he was 95. But all the rest of them went in their 70’s and 80’s.”
When asked how she felt about turning 100, Staples simply said, “It feels strange.”
Happy 100th Birthday to a long-time Choctaw County resident and friend to all, Miss Ella Staples!